Mulberry Bow now has three partners. Bullock is one, and he is joined by Lee Davy-Martin (pictured rear centre) of Wilson Wright, who represents the accountancy firm’s interests to Bullock.
The other is Gosia Rosa (pictured far left), who joined the firm this year to manage human resources and communications initiatives.
Bullock is a chartered financial planner along with colleague Andrew Toll (pictured far right), and they hope Tivey (pictured third from left) will become chartered within the next year. The practice has a rule that it will never take on more than 50 clients per chartered financial planner. So Bullock sees adding chartered financial planners to its roster as the key to growing the business’s capabilities.
Once that is in place, Bullock hopes Tivey will take the lead on a new proposition aimed specifically at women. That would help guide successful professional women through key points in their lives, such as substantial pay rises, the sale of businesses, or even divorce.
Bullock says he would be happy to advise women himself. But he wants to offer female clients a female adviser, if that is their preference. Does Bullock see himself as a feminist?
‘I don’t go down the pub and say: “Hi, my name is Simon, I’m a feminist,”. But if someone suggested I was a feminist, it wouldn’t worry me.
‘A feminist is someone who believes in equality of opportunity for women, and believes in living that, not just saying it. So in that sense I am a feminist.’
The other major project Bullock is working on is in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space, which he believes is becoming more important than just ‘ethical’ investing that uses positive and negative screening.
‘I think the debate seems to have moved on to be more about overall social effect,’ he says. ‘I’m not saying clients aren’t interested in ethical any more. But I’m finding myself having fewer conversations about ethical investing and philanthropy, and more conversations about sustainable investing and social impact investing.’
One of Bullock’s favourite funds is the Foresight UK Infrastructure fund, which he says ‘adds something a little bit different. Our clients are finding diversification away from equities and yield particularly challenging. This fund is a potential solution to both.’ However, the fund is only a few months old.
‘Although it hasn’t been around long, it holds established funds such as Greencoat UK Wind and HICL Infrastructure.’
The firm is aiming to achieve chartered status with the Chartered Insurance Institute as soon as possible, but that process can only begin now as it only recently passed its third anniversary. Bullock is also in conversation with a potential recruit: a young financial planner at a St James’s Place firm, who is approaching chartered status.